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Our academic staff pursue research as part of the UCL-Birkbeck Research School of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Our team of dedicated staff and technicians also provide excellent support for our students. Our Doctoral Programme is an integral part of our research culture find out more about our PhD Students.

Our PhD Students






Jabraan Ahmed

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"Towards sustainable and risk free gas production from an unconventional source"



PhD project title:

Towards sustainable and risk free gas production from an unconventional source



Project description:

The United States has shown the incredible potential in the extraction of gas from shales, however their success has yet to be replicated elsewhere. One of the reasons for this is the relatively poor understanding of shales in comparison to conventional reservoir systems. This project begins to bridge the gap by addressing the issue from a classical sedimentology perspective by examining a transect through the Bowland Basin which contain organic rich shales.

We have chosen the Bowland/Edale basin for study given the current interest and extraction operations which began recently.  After obtaining core and outcrop material, the shales will be put through a suite of analyses both quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative analyses will tell us the physical properties such as porosity, permeability and geochemistry. Meanwhile qualitative analyses, through high resolution imaging, on the micro/nano scale which will shed light on the distribution and orientation of minerals and kerogen. By, repeating these experiments across the basin and at varying stratigraphic depths, we hope the gain a better understanding on the factors controlling shale deposition, its mechanical properties and gas generation. It is knowledge of these factors which is vital for safe and sustainable production as they ultimately influence how the shales behave during the extraction process.


Contact Details:
Email:  jabraan.ahmed@ucl.ac.uk